Independent Kyrgyzstan has inherited the Soviet school system, including vospitaniye as an essential part. Soviet social policy was driven by the belief that building communism partly depended upon the creation of the ‘‘Soviet man.’’ Such an individual would demonstrate unwavering commitment to aims of the October Revolution, and desire to undertake the technological and scientific training required to achieve collective purposes. The resulting social cohesion among like-minded individuals would thus reinforce the economic and political aims of the USSR. A primary institutional location for the creation of such individuals was the secondary school, formally organized to achieve two distinct but equally important goals: the transmission of formal knowledge (obrazovaniye) and the process of social upbringing (vospitaniye). This paper first considers the critical nature of vospitaniye as an aim of the USSR, an aim typically underestimated in the current discourse of reforming post-Soviet schools. It then suggests contemporary dilemmas voiced by practicing educators in several Kyrgyz schools who are still charged with social upbringing, but in a climate where the ideals and values upon which vospitaniye was initially created appear no longer viable.

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